What's a bruiser item: There are 3 ways to itemize as an AD champion: Lethality, crit/on-hit and bruiser. Tanks have MR focus, armor focus or hybrid/health, but mages only have mana or non-mana, and while it does have an effect on how you play, having mana does not make your champion a different class. Currently Mordekaiser and Akali build the same items, that should be a red flag. The main difference between a bruiser item and a damage item is not that the bruiser item makes you tankier, it's that the bruiser item gives damage and rewards you for being tankier and sometimes only get to their full potential in disadvantage.
Examples: Titanic hydra gives damage, health and a passive that allows you to build health without losing on damage, cleaver gives damage, heath and a passive that makes you do more damage if you're tanky enough to survive for a while, death's dance gives you Armor, damage and a passive that not only makes you tankier, it heals you for a percent of you own health if you have enough damage to kill.
Now let's look at the AP items: We have rilays which gives health and damage but the passive is a slow, it's utility but if you follow with a tank item you will be lacking damage and if you follow with damage you'll be left squishy (Cosmic drive has a similar problem), Banshee's veil gives you one spell shield and less armor than either Wits or Maw, and if it did still if you want to be a bruiser you'll have to tank more than one spell and it doesn't cross scale with what you buy. Zhonyas hourglass is probably the most broken item in the game for a damage dealer, but unless you have Swain's ult it won't really make you tankier, which is great for mages who have to wait for cooldowns but not so much for bruisers wanting to consistently fight. The only 2 AP bruiser items in the game are riftmaker and demonic embrace.
Riftmaker gives omnnivamp which in itself makes you tankier the more damage you deal, and it also increases your damage the longer you survive, which encourages to go beefier without losing too much (also the magic pen and true damage are great because a bruiser will not have much space to go for an exclusively anti-tank item). The thing is that it's the only source of vamp for AP champions in the game. That's why it's so built Riot, add an AP Sanguine blade or Ravenous Hydra and you'll see how nobody will buy this item since you nerfed it into fucking oblivion.
Demonic Embrace is fine I believe, unlike Riftmaker I don't think it's weak. It gives decent health and decent damage but most importantly, it adds reliable damage that does not depend on how much AP you have, once you have demonic you can go Gargoyle Stoneplate and your dps will not dip as hard as if you had gone literally any other AP item instead. It also adds 10 armor and mr, increased up to double the more champions you fight, I'd argue it's on the lower end of tankyness but for an offensive item it's definitely bruiser.
Are there any AP bruisers tho? Aside from Mordekaiser and Rumble, both of which are incredibly strong right now and the only thing holding their winrates back is that they literally have no proper items, I'd argue that a lot of the more problematic champions we consider mages are just bruisers that had to be changed in order to work with the current available items. Karthus's W, E and Passive all scream bruiser and his current style is still more of a DPS until ult, wouldn't Karthus be better if he played more like an Aatrox and less like a "you have less than 2000 HP so you will die every 50 seconds if you don't get a full zhonyas". Akali pretends to be an assassin but her Q-Auto-repeat combo is a melee dps raher than a burst, she could be a bruiser that tanks with stealth and mobility instead of sheer brute force, at the consequence that she be less punishing both to play as and against. Imagine being able to play all of the AP tanks full tank, full ap or "bruiser", that would show how incredibly ridiculous it was to give every tank in the game %max health damage assuming they wouldn't do any damage otherwise and now having them one shot squishies while in CC and out damaging fighters on extended fights.
A case for Everfrost: This item is really underappreciated right now, it gives health, mana, AP and Haste, it's active is decent engage and disengage and it adds some long range CC that bruisers generally lack and it's mythic passive gives flat AP allowing you to go for one or 2 tank items without losing much. I just think it's a sleeper op item, I really like it on Cho'Gath.
Rant over if you got this far please tell me what you think.
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